Always Carefully Read Agreements and Contracts


If you’ve ever started a new job, you may have been asked to sign an employment agreement. You may be so eager to begin the job that you sign without closely reading it, or you may fear that if you question some of the provisions in it that your job offer will be withdrawn. However, you should carefully read any employment agreement before you begin working in order to minimize potential problems later.

You could also be an employer who is asking your employees to sign an employment contract before beginning work. You may want to protect yourself in the event an employee quits or is fired, but you don’t know which type of employment contract to use or what should be included in the contract.

Some standard issues addressed in most employment agreements include:


Non-compete agreement

Employment agreements often require the employee to not become employed by a rival company for a set amount of time after the employee’s job ends. The agreement may also say that the employee can’t set up a competing business. The non-compete agreement is usually limited to a certain time and a certain geographic area. It is important to know that these types of provisions are usually not enforceable in California.


An employer may ask an employee to not share information about certain aspects of the employer’s business. This could include the employer’s secret plans, data, machinery, or processes. A confidentiality agreement typically lasts even after the employee stops working for the company, and allows the company to sue the employee if the employee shares secrets in violation of the contract.

Exclusive employment

An employee may be required to promise that he or she will not work for anyone else in the same business while the employment is ongoing. The employee may also be required not to work anywhere else period while employed for the company.


The termination clause is a standard part of most employment contracts. It usually gives the employer the right to terminate the employment for any reason, or for certain listed reasons. It may list the amount of notice that the employer is required to give the employee. The employer may be allowed to terminate the contract without notice if the contract is violated.

Other Issues

Paid vacation, sick leave, benefits and salary.

Read The Agreement Before Signing an Employment Contract

Although many jobs don’t require that employees sign an employment contract, many do. If your company asks you to sign an employment contract, it’s highly advisable that you run the contract by an employment rights attorney before signing. You may not be aware of issues that could arise because of the contract, or provisions that should be included that could benefit you. You may also wish to negotiate some of the more unfavorable provisions before accepting the job.

An Employment Rights Attorney Can Help

If you are starting a new job and are asked to sign an employment agreement, or if you have an employment contract in place and you believe it’s been violated, you should consult with an employment attorney. A qualified employment attorney can also help draft employment contracts for employers.

If you’re in the San Francisco-Oakland area, and you believe that you may need help with an employment agreement, call Micha Star Liberty of Liberty Law At Liberty Law Micha Star Liberty believes that employers and employees should carefully review employment contracts before the employment relationship begins in order to minimize problems later. Contact Micha Star Liberty, Oakland employment attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000 to learn more about how she can help.

Organizations & Awards

  • Top Alameda Employment Lawyers

Our Address & Phone

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1800
Oakland, CA 94612-4700

Oakland (510) 645-1000
San Francisco (415) 896-1000